What Should President Kieschnick Say Tomorrow when He Addresses the ELCA? by Pr. Rossow

President Kieschnick is set to speak to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly tomorrow morning around 10 AM. (I have seen some discussion on the internet that it may be his representative and not the president himself.) This is a traditional gesture that has been practiced for years but presents some more interesting ramifications now that the ELCA has deepened its rejection of Scripture with the despicable vote to allow homosexuality within its church and to allow practicing homosexual clergy in their denomination.

What should President Kieschnick say to the assembly tomorrow? Here are three options.

  1. Use nice sounding political-speak to assert that the ELCA has violated Scripture.
  2. Use straight-forward language to assert that the ELCA has violated Scripture and to rebuke them.
  3. Use straight-forward language to assert that the ELCA has violated Scripture and to rebuke them and state that this will be the last time that a representative of the LCMS will address the ELCA Churchwide Assembly on account of this greivious sin and announce that he will now work in our synod to end all LCMS cooperation with the ELCA and deny RSO status to any LCMS organization that allows any ELCA members on their boards.

My guess is that President Kieschnick will choose the first approach. My prayer is that he will choose the third approach.

Any comments?

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

What Should President Kieschnick Say Tomorrow when He Addresses the ELCA? by Pr. Rossow — 29 Comments

  1. Here’s what our fellowship to the north said;

    Lutheran Church–Canada News

    A statement from Lutheran Church–Canada

    Ordination of Homosexuals in the Lutheran Church

    AUGUST 21, 2009 – In Minneapolis this afternoon, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted a resolution to allow for the ordination of those in committed, monogamous, same-sex relationships. The vote was 559 in favour, 451 against. The following statement was prepared at the request of President Robert Bugbee of Lutheran Church–Canada by Dr. Edward Kettner, professor at Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton.

    As the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) at its current convention has approved the ordination of people in “committed same-sex relationships,” it needs to be noted that the ELCA does not represent all Lutherans in the United States or North America. In its actions the ELCA is going against, not just the history of the Christian Church and against the practices of the covenant religion of Israel as expressed in the Old Testament (First Testament), but against the Bible, which the Christian Church has always recognized as the very Word of God itself. The traditional Christian understanding continues to be held by The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the United States and by Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) in Canada, as well as by a number of smaller conservative bodies in both countries.

    Background

    For more than two hundred years much of Christendom has come to reject the previously universal recognition of the Bible as the Word of God written. By using methods of scriptural interpretation which see the Bible as a human book, a record of human response to the idea of God, rather than as God’s declaration of Himself, His nature, and His activities to the world, parts of the church on earth now look at Scripture with what is called a “hermeneutic [biblical interpretation] of suspicion” rather than the traditional hermeneutic of trust.

    Under this new method of interpretation, words which previously were seen as the authoritative Word of God revealed through His apostles and prophets are now viewed as words composed by men seeking to maintain their power over others. In this understanding, the words of Scripture regarding marriage, which declare it to be the union of man and woman, and ideally one man and one woman in a lifelong union, are replaced by a preference for talking about “intimacy,” and commitment between two people that may not always include marriage in the traditional sense, or even, in recent years, a relationship between a male and a female.

    Behind this change lurks an understanding of “freedom” which is in fact license, which flies against God’s clear word in Genesis 1 and 2 and restated by Christ in Matthew 19:3-6. Since a pastor is one who is to have a good reputation among Christians and before the world, for the church to ordain people who clearly flout the Word of God in their actions throws both the Word of God and the office of the Holy Ministry into contempt, and gives the rest of the world an excuse to continue in its sin.

    LCC and Homosexuality

    Lutheran Church–Canada desires to reach out with the Gospel to everyone, including the homosexual, to provide real healing of the person, so that their lives may begin to reflect the holiness God desires of all of His people. Those who may have such inclinations and who struggle against them are welcome in our churches, will receive forgiveness of their sins, and may serve in the office of ministry. Those who flout the clear Word of God, refuse to call sin what it is, and who seek to justify their behaviour, disqualify themselves from the office and indeed put their eternal salvation in jeopardy.

    We recognize that our view is decidedly counter-cultural, but we know that we must continue to maintain the clear teaching of the Scriptures. We regret the decision of the ELCA, which, even by its own admission in its resolutions at this convention, goes against everything the Scriptures clearly teach and which the church has confirmed over the last 2000 years and even before.

    More information:
    Ian Adnams
    Director of Communications
    Lutheran Church–Canada
    [email protected]
    204-895-3433 ext 2224

  2. Option 4: Doesn’t even address the issue.

    How many ELCA congregations will cut ties with their Synod? What will happen there?

    How sad this is. Gives Lutheran a bad name.

  3. He should do #3 but will probably offer an even more mushy and weak version of #1.

  4. I think he should read up on Luther’s invective, and borrow a few choice phrases from him. That should do it, if he has the intestinal fortitude.
    Here’s another idea: In 2001, as president-elect, he was graciously granted the floor by Pres. Kuhn to offer a resolution as a substitute for part of Res. 3-21A. This Res., regarding addressing “Co-operative pastoral relationships with the ELCA” included one “whereas” that stated the ELCA was no longer an orthodox church body. His substitute motion was defeated. He ought to read that Resolution to them in toto, and say that the 2001 Convention was right in adopting it, but furthermore, he questions whether pursuit of such relationships can or should be continued.
    He may be booed for this, but he’s got a thick skin, and I’m sure he can take it.
    As he exits, perhaps he can shake the dust off his shoes.

  5. My guess ia that he’ll send that great ecumenist, Ssm Nafzger, who will go with Kevin’s Option #4.
    Ed the Cynic

  6. Yes, please #3!

    I will not be giving any donations to a RSO that shares w/ an ELCA church.

  7. Personally, I don’t understand all the angst.

    The ELCA crossed this threshold when they started “ordaining” women. The “gay” thing was simply the next inevitable step. Why we have any joint ventures with any “church” that ordains women is simply beyond me. Why the LCMS president continued addressing their convention when they took that step is a mystery to me.

    If we weren’t able to sever our ties over the women clergy issue, I don’t think we will over this.

    The reason we are in this terribly awkward position now is because we failed to do the right thing then.

    There is a local joint LCMS-ELCA grade school association down the road from me, and I can guarantee nothing will change – not even if a lesbian “pastor” were to teach at that school. And I am baffled why this is.

  8. It appears that both LLC and WELS included LCMS as being opposed to this action, but I have yet to see our own synod make any statement.

    Why in the world would we have anything to do with the e?ca convention. The women’s ordination should have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Now we they have approved ordaining homosexuals and have discarded any understanding of the Lord’s Supper by entering into fellowship with the methodists.

    I can hardly wait for our response!

  9. Larry,
    Well, it’s the same parallel we see with folks who disregard Confessional, altar&pulpit fellowship in favor of the take-it-for-granted approach. Those who join in with heterodoxy sign their name on the dotted line of permissiveness for convenience’s sake. Rather than guard the sheep in their care, many of even our Synod’s church workers turn a blind eye to the ill-effects and leaven-run-rampant consequences of keeping R.S.o.’s in joint work with the ELCA.

    Why people, congregations, schools, etc. would want joint association with both the LC-MS and the ELCA is beyond me. Once again, the ELCA demonstrates its subscription to a different “gospel” which is really no gospel at all. (Gal. 1:8-10) “From this, preserve us, Father in heaven.” (SC, III, 5)

  10. Addendum: I pray that we guard ourselves against those who would weaken our Synod’s Constitution or who would change it so as to permit officially even closer ties with the ELCA. We in the LC-MS simply have too much at stake, both theologically and historically, than to give in to winds that blow more Emergent tthan Lutheran.

  11. I highly doubt that anyone from the LCMS will say anything against this action of the E?CA. Anyone from officialdom that is. One can only wonder how far down the line it will be before the LCMS has women pastors and then homosexual pastors!!Since it was Dr. Bohlman’s great dream to unite all of American Lutheranism under one banner [as he so stated before the COP] and since I firmly belive that the same Dr. Bohlman is a major advisor of our current SP, then I don’t doubt that we will head in the same direction of the E?CA, and there will come the plea to wait a while and see if things do not change. The frog in the pot of boiling water comes to mind.

  12. Has anyone wondered why the LCMS was scheduled for tomorrow? Think about it–this is AFTER the big vote. Not BEFORE the big vote. So, it’s kind of “In your face, Jerry. Now what are you going to say about what we just did?” It also has put several other denominations ahead of him. It also puts him near the end, when lots of delegates have already left, and won’t hear him. It also denies him the chance of speaking against this evil before the ELCA does it. It really is a patently offensive insult to the LCMS, and to Pres. Kieschnick. We may not agree with Pres. K. on lots of issues, but I have to sympathize with him–it really is a personal affront. I suspect the reason we haven’t seen the LCMS’ statement on this abomination is that we’ll hear it tomorrow for the first time. To quote the 1948 Democratic Convention; “Give ’em hell, Jerry!!!”

  13. President Kieschnick should put on sackcloth and ashes, go to the podium, tear his garments and say, “I repent, and I call this rebellious and wicked synod to do the same.”
    Then he should walk away.

  14. In 2001, as president-elect, he was graciously granted the floor by Pres. Kuhn to offer a resolution as a substitute for part of Res. 3-21A. This Res. . . . . included one “whereas” that stated the ELCA was no longer an orthodox church body. His substitute motion was defeated.

    Yes, I remember that. Does anyone recall the words President-elect Kieschnick used in 2001, when he spoke against the resolution stating the ELCA could no longer be considered an orthodox church body? Maybe that’s what he can say today. It might make them feel nice.

    BTW, on September 19, 2001, President Kieschnick (and DP Benke) participated in leading two joint worship services with ELCA clergy at an ELCA congregation in New York City. Maybe he could mention that, too.

  15. I give President Kieschnick credit when it is due. He has been fine in his public statements on the social-conservative issues, most prominently, abortion and homosexuality. And there is very little disagreement among us on those issues within the LCMS. The question will be what he will say in front of an ELCA audience. I guess we’ll find out.

  16. Charlie at #19 –
    And there is very little disagreement among us on those issues within the LCMS.

    Not as little as we would think/hope. Even in a rather conservative district like CID, a resolution to “Affirm the Scriptural View of Marriage” was met with comments from the floor that such action would be perceived as hateful and unloving, and over 2% of the delegates voted AGAINST the resolution.

  17. I don’t know whether the President’s Address is the time to be so specific about consequences as #3 states. I would hope for a clear rebuke in strong, straightforward language. I would settle for a clear rebuke in softer politicospeak, as long as it was a rebuke and not just a statement that they had violated Scripture.

  18. Here’s what President Kieswchnick DID SAY to the convention about the E_CA decision on homosexuality [Note: the words were all capitalized by the convention video feed]:

    “I SPEAK THESE NEXT WORDS IN DEEP HUMILITY WITH A HEAVY HEART AND NO DESIRE WHATSOEVER TO OFFEND.

    “THE DECISIONS BY THIS ASSEMBLY TO GRANT NON-CELIBATE HOMOSEXUAL MINISTERS THE PRIVILEGE OF SERVING AS ROSTERED LEADERS IN THE ELCA AND THE AFFIRMATION OF SAME-GENDER UNIONS AS PLEASING TO GOD WILL UNDOUBTEDLY CAUSE ADDITIONAL STRESS AND DISHARMONY WITHIN THE ELCA.

    “IT WILL ALSO NEGATIVELY AFFECT THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN OUR TWO CHURCH BODIES. THE CURRENT DIVISION BETWEEN OUR CHURCHES THREATENS TO BECOME A CHASM.

    “THIS GRIEVES MY HEART AND THE HEARTS OF ALL IN THE ELCA, THE LCMS AND OTHER CHRISTIAN CHURCH BODIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WHO DO NOT SEE THESE DECISIONS AS COMPATIBLE WITH THE WORD OF GOD OR IN AGREEMENT WITH THE CONSENSUS OF 2,000 YEARS OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGICAL AFFIRMATION REGARDING WHAT SCRIPTURE TEACHES ABOUT HUMAN SEXUALITY.

    “SIMPLY STATED, THIS MATTER IS FUNDAMENTALLY RELATED TO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES IN HOW WE UNDERSTAND THE AUTHORITY OF HOLY SCRIPTURE AND THE INTERPRETATION OF GOD’S REVEALED AND INFALLIBLE WORD.”

  19. 1. Use nice sounding political-speak to assert that the ELCA has violated Scripture.

    2. Use straight-forward language to assert that the ELCA has violated Scripture and to rebuke them.

    I’d give it a 1.8.

  20. “IT WILL ALSO NEGATIVELY AFFECT THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN OUR TWO CHURCH BODIES. THE CURRENT DIVISION BETWEEN OUR CHURCHES THREATENS TO BECOME A CHASM.”
    Pretty weak!
    He said “It WILL also negatively affect…” When will that come about? “The current division between our churches THREATENS to become a Chasm.” What more has to happen that would make it more than just “division”? What would they have to do to close the division?

  21. He just finished a very good political speech, a very weak message of God’s Law and Gospel.

    “I do not wish to offend anyone by my comments..” (If your audio is turned up, the sound you just heard was me getting sick)

    In view of public, open sinning, imagine if Jesus, any prophet, apostles, or pastor would ever use such a phrase!

  22. “Threatens to become a chasm.” It is a chasm! They are on one side and we are on the other of it. They have departed from clear teaching of the Word and God period.
    On another note, did anyone notice the mixed response of the Assembly? I noted that some stood and applauded Pres. Kieschnick’s address. I think they are supporters of biblical morality and found support for themselves in Kieschnick’s words. I pray that they would understand clearly the Rubicon that has been crossed and leave the ELCA.

  23. This is just appalling. If Luther, the late German Christian protester, would still be here…where the denomination “Lutherans” derived from, he would be stunned and completely disappointed in this horrible abomination to the Word of God and the Gospel. I totally am against this election. When God created “man” he created Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and STEVE!!! Hello people. This is a direct form of disobedience to God. And this is happening in a Church, a denomination that professes to know the Word of God???? Please, God will have to deal with you guys…and it won’t be pretty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.